Stanford University

News Service


NEWS RELEASE

1/5/00

Diane Manuel, News Service (650) 725-1945; e-mail: dmanuel@leland.stanford.edu

Playwright Tom Stoppard to speak on Jan. 10

Playwright Tom Stoppard will talk with the freshman class about his play Arcadia at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, in Kresge Auditorium.

The event, which is sponsored by the Introduction to the Humanities (IHUM) Program, is free and open to the public.

IHUM instituted the "Freshman Book" program in the 1998-99 academic year. This year each of Stanford's 1,750 freshmen received a free copy of Arcadia, which they were encouraged to read and think about both on their own and with friends and dorm-mates.

Arcadia, which received the Olivier Award in 1994, is an absorbing drama that takes the reader back and forth between 1809 and the present day. The play juxtaposes the story of a promising 13-year-old mathematics student, Lady Thomasina Coverly, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge, with the unfolding investigation of contemporary writer Hannah Jarvis into a mystery associated with these earlier residents of the Derbyshire country house in which the play is set.

Arcadia reflects on many issues central to study in the humanities, including historical change and continuity and the meanings and effects of love, creativity and imagination. The play explores the nature of truth and time, the differences between the Classical and the Romantic temperament and what Stoppard describes as the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life "the attraction which Newton left out."

For more information call 723-0944 or 723-1620.

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